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Alaska property tax exemption took long road to ballot

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July 27, 2011


JUNEAU, Alaska: A property tax exemption act in Alaska will be placed before voters in the August 2012 primary elections. However, the ballot measure had a long way to go when it was first proposed by supporters, dating back to 2009.

The application was certified by the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska and petition booklets were issued to the initiative committee on June 25, 2009. The one year filing deadline for the proposed measure petition was June 25, 2010. Over 32,000 signatures from registered voters were needed to for the act to get on the 2010 ballot. The signature deadline to place the measure on the November 2, 2010 ballot was on January 19, 2010.

However, the initiative effort fell short, as the petition was not turned in due to insufficient signatures. During the week of June 4, 2010, the Alaska Division of Elections stated that the measure was 1,214 short of the 32,734 signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot.

The early January 19, 2010 deadline in Alaska was a function of the fact that Alaskan initiatives are indirect initiated state statutes, which means that they must be filed in time for the state legislature to weigh in on them. The group then had until the one year filing deadline in order for it to be placed on a 2012 election ballot, which it did.

Then, on December 20, 2010 the state initiative committee was told by the Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell that the initiative petition was properly filed. The Legislature did not pass the act after its review, since the measure is an indirect initiated state statute, sending the measure to the ballot.

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